Knowledge deficit of patients with stage 1–4 CKD: A focus group study

Pamela Lopez-Vargas, Allison Tong, Richard Phoon, S Chadban, Yvonne Shen, Jonathan Craig

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59 Citations (Scopus)


Background Patients with early-stage chronic kidney disease (CKD) must make lifestyle modifications and adhere to treatment regimens to prevent their progression to end-stage kidney disease. The aim of this study was to elicit the perspectives of patients with stage 1-4 CKD about their disease, with a specific focus on their information needs in managing and living with CKD and its sequelae. Methods Patients with CKD stages 1-4 were purposively sampled from three major hospitals in Sydney, Australia to participate in focus groups. Transcripts were thematically analysed. Results From nine focus groups including 38 participants, six major themes were identified: medical attentiveness (shared decision-making, rapport, indifference and insensitivity); learning self-management (diet and nutrition, barriers to physical activity, medication safety); contextualizing comorbidities (prominence of CKD, contradictory treatment); prognostic uncertainty (hopelessness, fear of disease progression, disbelief regarding diagnosis); motivation and coping mechanisms (engage in research, pro-active management, optimism, feeling normal); and knowledge gaps (practical advice, access to information, comprehension of pathology results and CKD diagnosis, education for general practitioners). Conclusion Patients capacity to slow the progression of CKD may be limited by their lack of knowledge about the disease, its comorbidities, psychosocial influences and their ability to interact and communicate effectively with their health-care provider. Support from a multidisciplinary care team, combined with provision of comprehensive, accessible and practical educational resources may enhance patients' ability and motivation to access and adhere to therapeutic and lifestyle interventions to retard progression of CKD. Summary at a Glance This paper makes the important point that, by improving the patients' knowledge about the disease and its comorbidities, together with better communication with the health-care provider, the adherence to therapy may improve. In so doing, retardation in the progression of CKD may be better achieved. A multidisciplinary care team approach may enhance this management process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-243
Number of pages10
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014


  • chronic kidney disease
  • information
  • needs

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